Belfast Telegraph

Steve McClaren seeks end of Newcastle's battle between Jekyll and Hyde

Steve McClaren is hoping Jekyll and not Hyde turns up on Sunday as Newcastle attempt to end their wait for a first Barclays Premier League victory of the season.

McClaren, who has seen his side flit between the impressive and the abysmal through the opening weeks of his reign, is desperate to claim a league win at the ninth attempt against Norwich to dissipate the growing unrest surrounding the club.

But he needs the kind of performance which secured a 0-0 draw at Manchester United or which resulted in a 2-0 lead over Chelsea rather than the one which saw them trounced 6-1 at Manchester City last time out if the rot is to be stopped.

McClaren said: "We need that belief, and that comes from performances, playing well, results. We have kind of had that - not the results. The players just need to focus on doing their job, making sure they fight for 95 minutes and give the crowd what they want.

"They want to see fight, they want to see attitude, they want to see good football. Give them that and generally - some things are out of your control, the result is - but generally if you get that, you win games."

To date, Newcastle have collected a paltry three points and went into the weekend rooted to the foot of the table and in danger of being cast adrift.

Norwich arrive on Tyneside six points better off having made a decent fist of life back in the top flight.

McClaren said: "They've been very good, very good. It's not surprised me at all that the three [promoted] teams have started quite well.

"They have got the buoyancy and the confidence of promotion, the nucleus of the squad stays, they add very well and they can be a handful at the start, which they are proving.

"I saw them [Norwich] against West Ham - they could have won that game, should have won that game, and Leicester, they shouldn't have lost that game, so this is not going to be easy."

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